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Current Justice Minister Responds to Opponents on Her Resignation Demands

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, June 21
Tea Tsulukiani, candidate for the Justice Minister, stated she does not care if she becomes or not the member of the cabinet.

Tsulukiani stated she will support the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) majority until the party exists. She addressed her opponents, saying that she will be even more powerful in the future.

“If I am not in the new government, I will still be the Georgian Dream’s main player; much more powerful, more free in my expressions, positions or actions,” she added.

The candidate was harshly criticized by the opposition while she was introducing her two-week action plan and answering questions from MPs in the parliament.

The opposition believes Tsulukiani failed to implement effective reforms in the justice system, adding she should not have been presented as the candidate for Justice Minister.

Irma Nadirashvili, member of the United National Movement (UNM) party, stated Tsulukiani’s one of the main mistakes was releasing already liquidated terrorist Akhmed Chatayev from prison, who in November 2017, along with his gang, was planning terrorist attacks in Tbilisi. However, Tsulukiani did not answer the question.

The European Georgia member Otar Kakhidze named around 10 reasons why Tsulukiani should not be represented in the new cabinet. One of the reasons was her “improper education.”

“I finished the secondary school and higher education institutions in France. The French President Emmanuel Macron also finished the same school 4 years after me,” she claimed.

Tsulukiani was criticized by the majority MP Zakaria Kutsnashvili too. He asked her to explain what results her four-wave court reforms brought.

The candidate minister underlined that the main achievement of these reforms was that the court is free of political influence.

On the background of the opposition parties’ criticism towards Tsulukiani, Majority lawmaker, Vano Zardiashvili praised Tsulukiani, saying she managed to fundamentally change Criminal Code of Georgia and adopt a new law on execution.

“The number of acquittals has increased by 93%. The amount of total bails has been reduced by 95%. Also, imprisonment as a sentence is reduced by 78%. Nowadays, 11 times less complaints are sent to the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights. It is surprising you managed to do it in such a short time,” Zardiashvili addressed Tsulukiani.

June 4 is the deadline for selecting candidates for the position of the chief prosecutor, which became vacant in late May, when Irakli Shotadze quit amid the large-scale protest rallies regarding the murder case of two teenagers.

The non-governmental organizations refuse to participate in the process, if Tsulukiani remains on her post.

The NGOs assure the society has negative attitude towards the minister and her participation in the chief prosecutor’s selection will raise questions. They are requesting Tsulukiani’s resignation.

Tsulukiani and the ruling party have not specified yet if she will retake her post after the PM candidate Mamuka Bakhtadze reshuffles the government in the next 2-3 weeks.